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6 Factors to Consider When Hiring a Whistleblower Lawyer in Houston
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Finding a good whistleblower lawyer in Houston is both essential and difficult. Without one, you will be negotiating a difficult and unfamiliar landscape alone. Your attempts in uncovering evidence and reporting wrongdoing will likely be filled with uncertainty and stress and, at best, very inefficient. However, finding a skilled whistleblower attorney or Texas law firm that can help your case is not as easy as it may seem.

There are many things to consider when deciding who to hire. Here are six of them.

1. You Need a Lawyer That You Can Trust

Trustworthiness is an essential trait in a whistleblower attorney. These cases are sensitive, and there will be times when it may be in your best interests to sacrifice some success in the case to preserve your professional reputation. Unfortunately, not all whistleblower lawyers will have your best interests at heart when your needs conflict with the progress of the investigation.

Determining whether you can trust a particular lawyer is rarely easy, particularly when you have just met with them. However, you should always keep this issue in mind.

2. A Law Firm With Substantial Resources

Another factor is the size of the law firm. Whistleblower cases are notorious for the costs and hours of work they can take, particularly if your attempts to get an appropriate law enforcement authority to intervene fall short. If that happens in your case, you and your law firm will have to investigate independently.

Filling in for an entire federal agency is not easy to do. A small law firm with only a few lawyers and investigators will probably not suffice. This would leave you in a very tricky position. You will have already spent lots of your time gathering evidence of misconduct – much of it at great risk to yourself. However, the agency’s decision not to take your case over may have left the law firm you hired unwilling or unable to go any further. This is not an uncommon development for whistleblowers who have selected small, boutique whistleblower firms in Houston. Unfortunately, it means that you will either have to change law firms or drop the entire case.

3. Offices in Houston and Washington, D.C.

A lesser appreciated factor is where the law firm has its offices.

Whistleblowers will frequently meet with their lawyers to share updates and develop strategies for moving the case forward. If your law firm does not have local offices in Houston, this can become very inconvenient, even if your law firm covers your travel costs.

However, it is also very beneficial to have a law firm with offices in Washington, D.C. This gives your lawyers access to the local network in the nation’s capital, where the federal agency with jurisdiction to hear your case is likely headquartered.

4. An Attorney With a Background in the Agency

Most whistleblower cases aim to present the evidence of wrongdoing to the relevant federal law enforcement agency and persuade them to intervene in your case. That way, you and your attorney can sit back as experienced investigators from the federal government take over the investigation and gather evidence on your behalf.

Convincing the agency to intervene is the biggest win that your case can achieve, aside from a final verdict. The best way to improve your odds of getting the agency to intervene is by being represented by an attorney who has worked within that agency handling Texas Health and Safety Code, False Claims Act, and whistleblower cases. That insider’s idea of what evidence the agency finds persuasive would help you present your case to the agency’s investigators; it would also help you assemble your case more efficiently as your lawyer would have a better idea of what information to gather and what to ignore.

5. A Lawyer With Experience Before That Agency

Even if your attorney has not worked within the relevant agency before, that does not mean that they have no experience with it. Check their prior case results. If your skilled attorneys have successfully persuaded the agency to intervene in whistleblower cases before, that is a good sign that they have built a strong reputation with the agency's personnel. Investigators and prosecutors are probably more likely to view subsequent cases brought by your attorney, including yours, as more deserving of their attention than those brought by other lawyers.

6. A Lawyer With Subject Matter Experience

It is also really important to get a lawyer with experience handling the specific type of case you have.

Whistleblower cases are not subject matter specific. They include widely diverse things like environmental violations and corporate fraud. Just because an attorney handles a whistleblower case does not necessarily mean that he or she is familiar with your claim type.

This should make a big difference in which lawyer or whistleblowing law firm you hire to represent you.

For example, if you are reporting healthcare fraud after finding signs that your employer is systemically overbilling Medicare and Medicaid, the best fit for you would be a whistleblower attorney with a proven track record of success in Texas Health fraud and protect whistleblowers from unlawful retaliation, not someone who focuses their practice on other sorts of whistleblower claims. 

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